A friend I knew as Papa, Bob Moore, left a legacy today: God is big and suffering like Christ is how we show Him to others.
Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, so Bob Moore was the closest thing to a local grandfather I ever knew. I don’t think he intended to become my grandfather, but he became it anyways. By the time he joined Christ in heaven, his body was badly beaten from disease and a few falls along the way. I mention this because it’s in his suffering that I learned the most from him.
People teach us in different ways: Bob Moore taught me what it meant to suffer like Christ. I never heard him complain as a disease moved like a freight train through his body. Instead, he embraced Jesus in it all. For all the study I did of God’s suffering servant (Isaiah 52:13–53:12), Papa Moore showed me what it meant to really embrace what that servant, being Jesus, requires of us. It wasn’t the books that truly taught me about the suffering servant’s legacy, or my study of Hebrew, but the life and experiences of people like Papa.
He was an engineer, a physicist, and a specialty pilot who served our country. And it was in a physics based remark that I came to understand how he embraced Christ, even in all of his pain. He said, “God is big.” It was simple, yet profound. God is bigger than suffering. Christ transcends it. Christ feels it; He knows us in it. And we know Him in it.
When one of Jesus' followers moves to heaven, we remember them by their legacy for the kingdom here. The Montana man who just received a new body in heaven taught us that we must live a great adventure for Christ. We must be willing to risk everything for Jesus, despite how hard it may be at times and how much our bodies may try to hold us back from doing so.
It was Papa who also taught me that it is never too late to have influence for Jesus. He became the patriarch of our family--the man who prayed fervently at our meals. We saw Jesus in each of those moments. And it was Bob that we watched get baptized at age 77. It’s never too late to embrace God’s full call on your life and for reconciliation to come in the process.
For all these “was” remarks, what’s most important is that “Bob is.” He is with Christ. He is a saint in God, because of Christ’s great work in Him.
We salute you Papa Moore.